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tv   [untitled]    November 2, 2011 7:30am-8:00am EDT

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this magnificent land offers his treasures. between the earth and the sky. rocket reporting live from moscow on our breaking news for us this hour the world's most famous whistleblower julian assange is to be extradited to sweden over sex charges but the wiki leaks founder now plans to appeal the u.k. supreme court this of course following the. pilot error is officially named as the cause of a russian plane crash that killed forty four including an entire hockey team to september the investigators revealed the crew mistakenly applied the brakes during takeoff but the second pilot also showed traces of
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a strong sedative in his system. thousands of europeans occupied the french riviera where the g twenty summit is due to kick off on thursday but the crowds angry with the current dire economic situation demanded world leaders focus on helping people rather than corporations. and islamic party into power and the same likely to happen in egypt peter lavelle now asks his panel of experts should the world not get used to the idea of islamic democracy now. live. live live live live. live ok. listen to the link.
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below we welcome across the cuticle as tunisia goes so does the rest of the arab world to be sure successfully holds the first election of the arab spring but islamic party coming out on top egyptians also will soon go to the polls and there's an exam that party they're expected to garner the most votes should we now get used to be idea of islamic democracy live to take you. live. to cross-check the future of islamic democracies i'm joined by you sort of got meucci into this she is a member of the and not the party in jerusalem we have david rosenberg he's a columnist for the jerusalem post and in denver we cross to major i see me he's a professor at the university of denver all right folks this is cross talk that means you can jump in anytime you want my very much encourage it but first marcia should we get used to the idea of islamic democracies well at least in so far as elections go democracy and social change may have been their spring slogans would
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be events unfolding in the margin regimes show that real changes might be slow in coming while democracy has so far only produced a form of political islam tunisians election the first vote in the arab spring for a parliament that will draft a new constitution has more than sixty percent voter turnout and was hailed free and fair by international observers but the release of the results probably of a protest and more than a hundred appeals filed mainly over the zamost amount of party which came in first claiming ninety seats in the two hundred seventeen seat assembly. yeah there you go you know. this is a day of victory this is a day of pride. this is a day of humility this is the day when tears he spoke with one voice in order to realize the aims of the revolution. in the coming months and years tunisia will be testing to see if the new assembly can translate the struggle for democracy into real changes that serve the people this may be a long shot for the not
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a party which now has to juggle good governance secular skepticism and a shattered economy. hope also the. international party turns out to be a reasonable and moderate party that would be a good battle for the rest of the region for that exact reason tunisia's experiment with democracy and islam may play an important role when the other emerging arab spring countries shoot their own political ideologies and sometimes only a modest success follows a call by levy as chief apprentice seemed to uphold the islamic law of sharia and in egypt which wields great cheer political clout the muslim brotherhood's freedom and equality party is expected to become a major force in the parliamentary elections so certainly a new and fascinating trial and let's discuss this here you should if i can go to you and i can honestly think it's very interesting to hear sound bite in there in my shoes report there and you know it's the west you know trying to characterize your political party and your political victory in tunisia and we always hear these
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terms well we hope it's moderates and now if we don't want any kind of extreme form here do you think it's very judge mental coming from the west about trying to claim what is moderate and what is not moderate considering the west supported what they called moderate secular regimes like ben ali and mubarak. that's indeed of minutes and it's and many people around the region but i think what they're concerned about is not the view of the west or europe they're concerned about the societies the economies democracies have. made these revolutions and have gone forward to hold these historic elections the first real democratic elections after the revolutions two to are the moments very proud very positive there are immense challenges that you've mentioned regarding skepticism of certain sectors and most importantly economic challenges but there is
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a positive feeling that's just as soon as you spot the you know the fleeing of revolutions around the arab world they were the first to hold these real democratic elections and despite the challenges there is now a real feeling of achievement and of the possibility of all working together getting these provoked and exaggerated ideological differences because the real challenges are really practical on the ground ok do it in jerusalem if i can go to you what do you think about the election outcome internees or because again there is this kind of we can see attitude from the west because. you know we don't we haven't seen too many elections like this in the in the arab world because of what i would call western new york colonialism now they've overthrown their dictators and now they're starting down a new trend which the west has always said democracy democracy democracy and there's skepticism with tunisia's and there was skepticism when hamas was elected seven years ago. well i think the u.s.
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is a legitimate concerns as far is. the rest of the arab spring countries the fact of the matter is that in the past and i want to emphasize very much in the past the experiment with democracy in islam has not been very successful we see what happened in iran we see what happened with hamas and the cause a strip in with hizbollah and lebanon having said that it really does seem that we're witnessing something of a revolution in the in the arab world the fact that tunisian voters went to the polls had a choice of electing an. islamic party or a party reflecting islamic values that's prepared to go into a coalition with secular liberal parties is a very very encouraging but we should bear in mind that in the past there have been coalitions like there one exists more or less in lebanon now in the past and in the palestinian areas so there was a coalition between fatah and hamas the question is not just if they're going to be elections and the elections are free and fair but whether or not the political
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players going forward are prepared to play the democratic a game and that's the test we have to wait for ok and if i go to you in denver the west seems to like democracy in the islamic arab world but only if it suits their purposes so they can say this is a good democracy this is a bad democracy this is a good election this is a bad alexion isn't that being a bit hypocritical i mean it and democracy is what determine on the ground i absolutely agree i think when it comes to this in vocation of the adjective moderate with respect to tunisia or egypt that what we're really talking about is moderation to the extent that it lies that lines up with western policy and to the extent that the regime is supporting working within the framework of u.s. geo strategic interest in the region it's considered to be moderate so we often hear these terms about these moderate arab regimes such as saudi arabia hosni mubarak's egypt king abdullah's jordan. yes these are moderate in the sense that
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they are working very closely with us foreign policy but they're certainly not moderate with respect to any objective definition of what constitutes democracy and any objective definition of what constitutes you know universal standard of human rights so i think you know his point is an important one what really matters is not . how some people in the west are characterizing events in the arab spring what really matters and i think what really needs to be celebrated is that for the first time in the modern history of the arab and islamic world you are having democratic revolutions and and perhaps the first opportunity you know for people in these regions to really exercise a meaningful self-determination and so that's where i think the focus of the discussion should be that's something to celebrate and once again we see tunisia sort of leading the way they led the way with the with the revolt last january and
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and now they're leading the way with the first you know free and fair election and all power to them you should if you go back to you in tunis and that was very interesting is that your electoral opponents opponents a claim that you were going to ban alcohol in bikini's i mean i would hope that tunisian politics is more about alcohol in and then pick a nice. exactly you know people's concerns are really far from you know much discussed topics and can i also make a point. regarding islam and democracy and whether the experiments in the past have been positive or negative i think we need to move away from these reductions and simplifications. and democracy can be compatible just as you can have a religious. inspired democracy you can have religious dictatorship and just as you can have a secular democracy you can have secular dictatorships in the past in the arab world that's more or less where we've had throughout the arab world we've had
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secular dictatorships there is new definite relationship between secularism and democracy so let's let's make that clear the problem now is not that you know islam is coming into into politics the moost important change is that we have a change from dictatorship into a democratic transition who really to establish a real democratic system. you know let's move away from food to sing on the exaggerated issues secondly. as you said you know the challenges are really first establishing a democratic system we've never had this in the past so that's going to be to me challenge establishing a real system where citizens are equal where they enjoyed public and individual liberties where the powers are distributed and separated and balanced where there is freedom of the media an independent judiciary all these will be guarantees for
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never having the return of dictatorship in the name of religion all the name of liberalism or secularism and the second challenge is economic development that really needs to move forward we have huge crisis in new worsened after. revolution and people are really expecting a lot from from these parties and the message has been clear from the election results that they didn't want their parties she was seen unfortunately in the election campaign to have a focus on the provoked and orchestrated incidents and discussions they want their parties to work together and we've seen this from there is yes a number has come on the top. during elections just as other parties all have been part of the struggle against dictatorship and they've also received a significant shelf the right you know but i'll jump in here before we go to all
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the and i figure they are going to break and i go to david david i mean you know we shouldn't be surprised if these countries after suffering under these dictatorships supported by the west would like to point out that actually want to turn to islam and to say look i get give it give these army parties a chance at least give them a chance well i think there is a risk of kind of oversimplifying what is this foreign minister tendency you're you know even among people who specialize in the subject you to look at islam whereas you will force revolution anti western ism in door they dismiss it as simply a political for phenomenon and really distressing and no we don't have to tell you concerned about it if you your social and economic and political reforms or address you can be addressed by anybody in the islamic parties will evaporate once people are satisfied with their social economic well being what i think is very important and we see this phenomena certainly in tunisia because well in egypt turn probably in libya as well. on the whole despite the fact that the arab spring is
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a revolution these are very conservative societies they don't want the kind of let me tell you so she said let me jump in here we're running out of time we're going to come we'll come back you know short break ok after a short break we'll continue our discussion on the future of democracy can the arab world stage. the slum india says commitment is. significantly the a. minimum in. the atmosphere is. this this. is the best
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subsidiary. this is a. coming. the chance to be soon which brightened. movements from phones to shoes. who threw stones on team don't come. if you still. want to. welcome back across the time you're about to remind you we're
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discussing the prospects of democracy to the arab world. if you can. still. ok let me go back to david in jerusalem here i think that you know how do you look at tunisia as being a model because isn't it really for the with the rest of the arab awakening or is it again a good precedent or isn't it an aberration if it's very specific at the smaller population there's not as much ethnic differences there and it's much more homogeneous there are much more liberal before the bin. dictatorship eccentrics cetera my point is how much is the nisha a model. a compass for the future. well you probably isn't much of a model for retirement many of the reasons you suggested and you know you economically tunisia has performed relatively well there seems to be
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a solid class of people we would probably to find is. you know a western audience and i think we saw that in the election results it wasn't any it was as everybody has pointed out conducted freely fairly without any chaos or violence and even though the islamic parties had knocked up took forty percent of those you point out the other two thirds or sixty percent of the country voted for other parties i also think that. voters were not to expressing any support for revolutionary islam i think they're very much support the idea of a traditional society in the sense of having a conservative moral values and things that come up in a fortune in the popular political parlance is no bikini's but the fact is they represent their real concerns and these alarmists in a very serious way address those concerns the real question will be going forward is not whether the petion people want to read islamic republic i think we've made
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quite clear they don't want one the question is whether or not. among these longest themselves they represent a wide wide range of political opinions not all of them are very friendly to democracy or liberalism or personal freedoms whether or not society can cope with that phenomenon and democracy in the end can we now. see that infamously in even in a train again very again this kind of skepticism i mean our are muslims mature enough to have democracy because i'm afraid that's one thing pollution we could do could draw from what we just heard. i'm a broad agreement with what just david david has just articulated i think the point here is that you know tunisians going forward are going to have to you know. decide what type of society they want to construct and one of the great things about what's happening today's for the first time they can actually have that opportunity to engage in the important public debates intellectual exchange is
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democratic bargaining and negotiation that all emerging democracies have to go through in order to develop a broad consensus on the basic norms and values of what constitutes a just society there's a lot of you know things that have to be reconciled there's a lot of different ideological currents but that will hopefully take place nonviolently will take place in a free and fair media will take place in a democratic parliament and and that's how you know every society that is democratic has gone through these phases tunisia is experiencing its first democratic moment i think we have to be a little bit patient here i think we have to be supportive of creating strong civil society supporting basic principles so that and asians can have the right to exercise self-determination ok let's go back to soon as i mean it is your political party and congratulations on your victory do you feel you have to placate western concerns about the nature of the islamic nature of your political party and what kind of society you want to make. as i said you know our program is
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is mostly addressing tennesseans and we've made our program very clear we have an electoral program dealing with the political social economic and cultural fields which is very detailed and was published in arabic english and french and readable online it has reassurances all for for for investors for primarily but also for others we will maintain we hope to maintain good relations with our mean traditional part of this europe and to advance the teachers further but also to diversify our relations with the rest of the world. but as i said our proposal is to have a parliamentary system that distributes and balances powers on a wide scale as i said in our party all concerned about. and regarding a model for the other countries which are not to want to presume and each country has its circumstance circumstances and. conditions and history however we
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believe that there are many similarities between the countries of the region and that's why the revolution intern as you did inspire similar revolutions around the region or obviously they're taken the different parts however we believe that we hope the mean point that will inspire others around the region is that we need to move away from the visions that in our societies are diverse and they will always be diverse however we need to rise above those differences accept them and focus on the immense challenges facing our country and it is possible to actually go there you've mentioned the difficulties about working together and whether working together is possible between urgent ideological parties however we've had this in the past it into his year for instance we've seen for movement which brought together another movement with a communist party within. this policy with liberal parties and. its opposition to
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the ship but they've managed to elaborate a vision for the society they want and there is much common ground on which we can build a let me let me let me jump in here because there's a word that's used a lot in the west and sharia law ok and islamic law here but if i can go to you i mean this is what's always brought up is that when you had the national transition council in libya they said they will respect this type of religious law and then we also have it and tunisia where this is going to be in play here and there are different variations forms flavorings you know you can go from country to country but the country that has it the most severe version of it is saudi arabia but they don't get a whole lot of criticism do they oh that's correct. the fact is that islamic law is subject to interpretation you know if i'm going to be very candid another words it's one thing to say we're imposing islamic laws and the thing to say will be inspired by islamic law will refer to islamic law when making
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you know civil code use saudi arabia is not a particularly good role model donnelly because they observed. more than just. an understatement thanks to rid of it strict form of it that's an understatement there . absolutely. so i don't think you know i don't think the idea of you know we'll show you what you will certainly in tunisia and look for major you want to jump in denver go ahead ahead go. yeah i know i'm i agree with what david is saying that the question of sharia law really is a red herring particularly in the united states of america today where you know there are these groups that are trying to believe that sharia law is going to take over the united states i think the point here is is that when it comes to the construction of a legal system it's important but that legal system be subject to checks and balances and fundamentally to you know public accountability so you can call it what you will but as long as that law is subject to democratic checks and balances
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important and subject to changing reformation then i think you know that's what we need to focus on the the term shari'a law can mean many things in the audience that the head of the libyan transitional council was referring to effectively means a a moral code rooted within traditional norms and values that respects life property and religion in the west it means chopping off hands and sort of you know killing killing minorities so i think the focus on sharia law is really attempt to i think engage in scaremongering to sort of play up on unfortunately deep seated islamophobia stereotypes that have resurfaced in the west but fundamentally you know the you know the question of the legal code is going to be debated in all of these emerging democracies and as long as those debates are open free and fair and subject to public scrutiny then i think we need to sort of be confident that that peoples in these regions will get it right if i go back to tennessee. can you comment on that or how do you in your political party and how you see the future of
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your country how do you balance the two because you've talked a lot about you've talked to talk of democracy on this program ok and how do you balance that with religious law should be a low. we believe that you know the issue of identity is is clear in the constitution and new party has said they want to change this. is an arab muslim state. a lot in our actual laws. from from islamic jurisprudence but the laws as they are we said we want to maintain laws. as they are we do not want to. all citizens are equal and we're. getting the seed from from the will of the people to see that you know there is a focus on you know extreme interpretations of islam and that there are extremist
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currents within societies that me take over and me also you know explored speed democratic process yes there are. extremist elements in all societies and we believe they do expand and grow under repression and however we believe what's clear from from from these elections and from the results is that. society is very moderate by nature and they have voted for dues that represent. the middle ground here we're almost out of here are you just all the time i'd like to go to you a year from now do you think islamic democracy would be your term that the west and western audiences will be able to comprehend. well the real security comes in here so you're going to be nearly three thousand feet and are going to be able to develop yet it if a year from now we see a thriving democracy in tunisia where there's free debate where there's
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a free press where all different political currents are able to articulate their point of view then i think you know the term islamic democracy is not going to invoke the type of you know scary images that are already let me jump in here will change that proposition a year from now many thanks to my guest today and to mr islam and in denver and thanks to our viewers for watching us here in r.t. the next time i remember astafy.
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